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Ask Father Vasiliy

"Dear Father Vasiliy" Feather PenEver a glutton for punishment, Father Vasiliy Vasileivich, COROC spokesman, pastor of Saints Vladimir and Olga and Boris and Gleb Russian Orthodox Church of Syndey, Australia, and 9-time winner of the “Mr. Barbecue Australia” cook-off, takes time away from his parish and synodal duties and recipe-testing to answer our readers’ questions.

Dear Father Vasiliy,

Do I have to keep the Apostles Fast? I fasted for all of Advent (except a couple of Christmas parties) and Lent. I always fast for the Theotokos Fast. I fast two times a week and for the little one-off fasts that come up during the year. But the Apostles Fast? Come on. Summer is just beginning; it’s time for backyard barbecues with baby back ribs and roasted corn ears and cold watermelon, and Steak Diane on the veranda of my favorite Italian restaurant with a bottle of chianti and some crusty bread with olive oil. And I don’t even much like the apostles. Do I have to?

—Fasted out in Frankfort

Dear Frankforter,

You are misunderstanding purpose of Orthodox fasting. This “have to” is not point. Holy fathers of ancient church did not sit around and think of heavy burdens to place on faithful Orthodox for sake of placing heavy burdens. (Well, except standing during worship.) Fasting is not punishment for us, but is gift to us of God. God knows we are too often slaves to passions and wanting everything our own way. Thus he gives holy fasts so we may learn, even in small way like giving up meat and cheese, how to deny self and seek God. This, and ancient fathers owned shrimp processing plant. Haha! I make funny joke. Did you get?

So in answer to question, Yes. Orthodox who do not keep Apostles Fast are judged at Tollbooth #7 and spend eternity in flames of Hell. Please to have nice day.

—Father Vasiliy

(P.S.: Christmas parties during Advent is Tollbooth #1,471; not liking Apostles is #38; saying “come on” is #1,918. —F.V.)

Dear Father Vasiliy,

How did you get to know so much about the Orthodox faith?

—Wondering in West Australia

Dear Westie,

Magic hummus.

—Father Vasiliy

Dear Father Vasiliy,

You make funny joke. What is your real secret?

—Wondering

Dear Westie,

Is no secret. I read books. You should to try.

—F.V.

Copyright © 2011 Alex Riggle. All Rights Reserved

If you like Alex Riggle’s Orthodox-themed satire, you might enjoy his recently-released book, Is Outrage!, which gathers all (but one) of the Father Vasiliy articles from the Onion Dome under one cover. You’ll like it. Trust us.

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About Your Intrepid Blogger

I live in the Tacoma area. When not writing things some people think are funny, I teach technology to 7th and 8th graders at a local middle school.

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